Recently, Apple introduced ‘Spatial Audio’ with support for Dolby Atmos on Apple Music which offers an immersive listening experience with sound coming “from all around and from above.” In addition, Apple also announced that Apple Music subscribers will be able to listen to Dolby Atmos songs on AirPods and Beats headphones powered by H1 or W1 chip, iPhone, iPad and Mac.
In addition, at the WWDC21 event, Apple announced that Spatial Audio support will be coming to tvOS by the end of the year. However, at that time, the company did not mention details of how the feature will work with AirPods Pro or AirPods Max paired with Apple TV. Now, Apple has shared ‘Spatial Audio’ functionality details with Engadget.
New software update will allow AirPods Pro or Max users to enjoy Spatial Audio on Apple TV
Launched at the WWDC21 event, Apple Music Spatial Audio on iOS allows AirPod Pro users to enjoy a high-quality surround sound experience by using headphones’ accelerometer for head tracking so onscreen audio stays in place when users move their heads. And coming later this year, a new software update will bring the feature to tvOS, so Apple TV can to listen to content with Dolby Atmos support on their AirPods Pro or other compatible headsets.
Apple told Engadget the feature will work with stereo, 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos content. Whether you’re using a pair of AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, the software that powers the feature will widen the soundstage so that it seems like the entire room you’re in is being filled with sound.
Like the iPhone AirPods Pro connect prompt, users will be able to easily connect their headphones with Apple TV via a prompt. Engadget detailed that:
When you sit down to watch a movie or TV show, the included head tracking feature will lock in after it detects you’ve been looking in the same direction for a while. Once you get up to walk around, it will reactivate. Connecting your AirPods to an Apple TV is also easy in this context. When you’re near the device with your headphones, it will display a popup that will allow you to quickly connect, and you won’t need to dig into the settings menu.
In spite of launching HiFi lossless music streaming capability, Apple calls Spatial Audio the future of music. In an interview, Eddy Cue said that Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos is the real game-changer he had been waiting for.
“I’ve been waiting for something in music that was a real game-changer. The quality of audio has not been able to really rise because there hasn’t been anything out there that when you listen to it, it truly is differentiated to everybody. It doesn’t matter whether you’re eight years old or 80 years old, everyone can tell the difference and everyone knows this one sounds better than the other one.”